What You Need to Know About Coastal Design

Posted on: October 27, 2021

Are you in love with coastal design? Well, here is the good news, you do not need to live by the ocean to make this theme work for you. Most people believe that a coastal concept lives up to its name by being synonymous with blues, shells, and anchors.

However, the details mentioned above align more with a nautical theme. Though the coastal design may have similar elements to the nautical design, the two are entirely different concepts. For starters, coastal design is kitschy and obvious. So how do you draw the line and separate the two? Keep on reading to find out exactly what is going on and what sets the coastal design apart.

The True Definition of Coastal

To start on the right footing, you cannot interchange coastal design with a nautical design. Both concepts are entirely different. Coastal design is also not the same as tropical or Mediterranean. So, make sure you know what to expect so you are not disappointed when you ask your architect or designer to interpret your vision into a sketch, 3-d rendering, or even reality.

Simply put, coastal design has a beach theme. It is meant to evoke the breeziness of being by the sea. With this design, your home will exude a summer-like feel all year long. You can expect the coastal design to have the following elements:

  • Tons of natural light
  • Soft, earth tones
  • Clean aesthetics
  • Crisp whites
  • Stripes
  • Jute textures
  • Loose and diary linen
  • Layered blues

If you aspire for a coastal abode, you will take cues from the beach, copying its environment from colors to materials that you use. The key to making this work is to keep everything balanced. If you are unsure about what to do, hiring a professional designer can give your space a touch of coastal sophistication and class.

The Key Ingredient: Let There Be Light!

Coastal designs needs tons of bright natural light since this is the primary component of this theme, so ensure your space has abundant lighting coming from big windows, glass doors, and even light fixtures. Your home’s interiors must not feel cramped or look dim. The goals are:

  • Light
  • Airy
  • Open

You must work with an open space plan because it should feel as if there is no boundary between the outdoor environment and your home’s indoor area. Hence, large picture windows, well-placed skylights, and big-paneled glass doors are the answer for this seamless living.

Usually, people who live close to the water focus on blending their indoor and outdoor spaces. They want to bring the calming and soothing nature of the outdoors in. Hence, the goal is to erase the distinction between interior and exterior spaces. This feeling is what you want to exude in the coastal style.

Hence, if you want this kind of design to work for your home, steer clear of fancy window treatments or door shades. Think minimalist! You do not want your curtains or blinds to detract and prevent the natural light from infiltrating your home. The coastal design optimizes light like no other design theme.

Work Hard to Keep Everything Natural

Since the goal of a coastal theme is to create a relaxed and laid-back vibe, you must incorporate tons of natural elements. Thus, you must pay attention to your furnishings. Look at the following examples:

  • Wicker
  • Rattan
  • Woven
  • Weathered wood
  • Natural fabrics

Thus, rugs are usually made of jute, seagrass, straw, or other simple materials. Stay away from shiny materials that pop and sparkle. This should be easy to do as you have enough light already coming in from the great outdoors.

Veer away from flashy materials or any metals. Instead, focus on light and billowy fabrics. For example, sheer curtains that are super thin and almost porous will work well with coastal design because it allows natural light into the house.

Though wood is a common element in this theme, it is not the dark wood material. Instead, you have white-washed wood. Alternatively, you can also have an ash tin or a blond maple tint. However, even in colors, you will notice that everything is light.

Prioritize Crisp and Clean White

If you think a coastal theme is bold blue and white, think again. That aligns more with the nautical theme than the coastal one. Instead, a more accurate description of the coastal design is crisp and clean white.

In some ways, this may remind you of the minimalist design trend. After all, less is considered as more. This home theme also favors neutrals that align with natural lighting. Hence, a white room with neutral touches will make everything lighter, brighter, and airier.

However, this does not mean you can no longer play around and accent your home with colors. The trick is to keep the accent colors soft. Remember, you do not want anything bold. As such, most accent colors are neutral like:

  • Warm beige
  • Khaki
  • Light blue
  • Light gray
  • Muted green

Remember, you aim for something refreshing and relaxing, which most “beachy” interiors feel like. Thus, go for layered neutrals to exude a roomier vibe with a touch of that holiday feeling. Mixing sandy tones with white will indeed remind you of a beautiful beach house.

However, you can also adjust the color hue based on your tastes. There is no right or wrong way to do this, as it hinges on your preferences. You will be living in the home, so your choice is the top priority. For example, you can mix a true blue with white for a Mediterranean-Coastal vibe, combine bright coral with baby blue for an exotic coastal vibe, or mix warm white with light blue/green for a country coastal mix.

Go with Casual Furniture for the Homey Vibe

Coastal furniture must feel casual, comfy, and easy. For this reason, natural furniture is a hit with the coastal theme. Rattan and wicker are the top choices of designers. However, since you do not want everything to be too matchy-matchy and contrived, you can opt to add dimension into your space.

One way to do this is to use slipcovers for your furniture. Make sure you pick light linens and cool pieces of cotton. Both fabrics work well with the light, open, and airy feel of coastal design. Then, mix and match this with your rugs and sheer curtains for that much-needed texture.

It is time to ditch your satin and suede because you want chill and casual. Linen and cotton work well for coastal design because they remind everyone of lazy summers relaxing on the porch. It is all about soft, fuss-free, and touchable textures that you can readily replace and wash.

Work With a Large Open Space Concept

This should not come as a surprise because anything that puts light on a pedestal will surely love and favor an open floor concept. If you want your space to exude that airy feeling, keep it free from clutter.
Instead, your furniture and decor must work to promote that feeling of lightness where everything in the surroundings flows. You want everything in your home to feel seamless.

If you have an older home with walls, do not worry because you can still create an illusion of vast open spaces by paring down your furniture. Instead, implement a minimalist look to get the light, spacious, and airy ambiance. You can also bring outdoor landscape details inside with strategically placed potted plants.

Get Creative and Decorate But With Restraint

You must be wondering if you can decorate with shells. After all, if you take a quick escapade on the coast, you are bound to encounter shells. Clearly, you cannot embellish your home with geometric accents, modern prints, or deer antlers if you strive for a coastal design theme.

Hence, it is okay to add a few touches of the sea, like shells. You can also include glass bottles with sand or try woven baskets. The key to decorating success is exercising restraint. Do not go overboard with your decors, or everything will feel cluttered.

The primary objective is to make your home look natural and feel easy. Stay away from the cliche of excessive shells, and do not use anything too kitschy like anchors or sailboats. Avoid tacky fishy and sailor prints that will not do anything for your space.

Instead, aim for subtle elegance. Do not go over the top because you do not want clutter. For best results, keep everything simple. Stay away from lighthouses or lifebuoys. Instead, take your cue from the most common elements you see at the coast. For example, you can have the following touches:

  • Blue glass vases upon your fireplace hearth
  • A relaxing hammock in the corner as a reading nook
  • Classic baby blue and cool white stripes for wallpaper accents
  • A seashell or two to add visual interest

Special Factors to Think of When Decorating

Coastal style homes can be enjoyed anywhere. You do not need to be near the beach to implement this design scheme. However, if you do have a home that is truly near the ocean, you should consider several factors.

Since the coastal style incorporates a relaxed approach for textiles, you want to choose water-proof items that will wear well. If your home is by the beach, you will have family or guests wearing wet bathing suits sitting on your wicker couches.

Thus, you must select premium fabrics that can withstand this rough use. Consider wear and tear when choosing your decorating implements. For example, slipcovers work well because you can readily replace and wash the soiled ones. Make sure the cushions underneath are water-resistant.

Think About the Light Fixtures

Though you have plenty of light coming in from your expansive windows, glass doors, and skylights, you still need light fixtures for when it becomes dark. Sadly, many people planning for their coastal homes overlook their light fixtures. Remember, the key player in coastal design is lighting!

Hence, when it is dark outside, your chosen light fixtures will compensate for the lack of sunlight. This is a critical element because you want to mimic the golden rays of the sun. Therefore, stay away from bright, white fluorescent lights and stick with warm, yellow lights.

You do not need to stick with boring lampshades. Instead, feel free to add texture to your light fixtures. You can try the following:

  • Wooden beaded lamps
  • Capiz chandeliers
  • Eye-catching wall sconces

Your chosen light fixture must imbibe coastal elements so your living room, bathroom, and kitchen will exude a coastal vibe. Besides, working with light fixtures such as those mentioned above will add a touch of intrigue. They become excellent conversation starters.

Complement this with funky accessories like grasscloth wallpaper, sisal mats, woven roman shades, and more. Let your creative juices flow because you can get a lot of inspiration from the beach and nature. Even natural limestone can exude a relaxed vibe, making you feel as if you are on a beach vacation, even if you are only home. Try mixing and matching to get that coastal feeling you crave.

Work with a Good Team to Make Your Vision Come Alive

When you think of coastal design, think casual yet chic. Aim for a laid-back look but with a touch of elegance. Think of your space as embodying the atmosphere of a stunning beach retreat. You can recreate the beautiful seaside through your color scheme, fabrics, and furniture picks.

Though you do not want clutter, you can still use pieces that are rich in texture. For example, using driftwood will promote an earthy aesthetic that goes well with the coastal style. When you do this design trend-right, you can make your home feel like a luxurious island getaway.

Do not mistake coastal for nautical, or you will end up with something tacky. Instead, work with a good design team so you can get that high-end coastal look that embodies the refreshing yet classy ambiance you visualize.

If you need help making this a reality, give our team a call. Our design experts at Eco Minded Solutions will create a beach and seaside aesthetic for you with natural elements and classy fittings. As a result, you can enjoy that down-to-earth feel while ensuring your coastal-themed house looks perfectly chic and well put together.

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